Easter: April 8

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Easter is a Christian holiday, celebrating Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. It falls two days after Good Friday, which commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus. Easter also marks the end of Lent, the 40-day season characterized by fasting, prayer and penance. In the Western church, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Eastern Orthodox Easter follows the same formula, but with the Julian calendar, so the date can fall anywhere from one to five weeks later.

 

While the deep religious significance of Easter is the same worldwide, the traditions of how Easter is celebrated vary. In traditionally Catholic countries like Mexico, Easter is a day for church and family. But in many other countries, Easter is steeped in rich traditions like coloring eggs, which are intricately designed in places like Poland. Other traditions include the Easter bunny and Easter baskets—Ukrainian Easter baskets are lined with embroidered white napkins and placed on the table with food for example while American Easter baskets are filled with candy and hidden for the kids.

 

Germany is often considered the birthplace of modern day Easter traditions such as the Easter bunny and Easter tree. German immigrants to America then brought the traditions with them. In Germany today, Easter eggs are exchanged as presents and many Germans decorate a shrub or trees with hollow Easter eggs.

 

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